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The bodies response to long term exercise: The Cardiovascular system

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Jack Lewis

on 13 June 2013

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Transcript of The bodies response to long term exercise: The Cardiovascular system

By Jack Lewis 13Hm
The Bodies response to long term exercise
Chronic responses
Increase in cardiac output
Decreased resting heart rate
A chronic response is when the body makes physiological changes to cope with the conditions. A chronic response is something that occurs when you exercise repeatedly (over a long period of time)
Capillary density is the number of capillaries that supply nerves to the muscles. When you exercise your capillary density will increase, this is known as capillarisation. Your capillaries provide your working muscles with oxygen rich blood and remove carbon dioxide. Your capillary density will increase by 5-20% when you exercise regularly. This means that there is more blood flow which means that more oxygen can be pumped to the working muscles. This benefits the athlete because as the capillaries become denser more lactic acid and carbon dioxide can be flushed from the body which means the athlete will fatigue at a slower rate. As the capillaries become denser the amount of oxygen that is transported to the working muscles will also increase which means the athlete will have more energy to fuel the body.
Increase in stroke volume
Stroke volume is the volume of blood that is pumped from one ventricle of the heart per beat. Stroke volume will increase when you exercise however when you have been exercising regularly your stroke volume will also increase when you are at rest. This is because the individuals heart is trained to pump large amounts of blood when exercising so at rest the stroke volume will also increase. This results in an increase in blood flow because the blood vessels increase in size, this enables more nutrients to be delivered to different parts of the body. This also increase an individuals cardiac output as more blood can be pumped per minute. The body will become more efficient at delivering oxygen and nutrients to the muscles as the volume of blood that is pumped will increase when an individual exercises on a regular basis. This benefits the athlete because he/she can exercise for longer and wont fatigue as quickly because more oxygen and nutrients are being delivered to the working muscles.
Cardiac hypertrophy
Cardiac hypertrophy is where the heart increases in size and blood volume, this is as a result of regular exercise. This is good for athletes or people who exercise regularly because they can continue with their level of exercise and fitness. This is a positive because when cardiac hypertrophy occurs more blood can be pumped around the body which means more energy and oxygen can be transported around the body for use. When we exercise the wall of the left ventricle thickens (chamber size increases) which strengthens the beat of the heart. This means more blood can be pumped through the body, this is because the force of the contraction is stronger. This benefits the athlete because the more blood pumped around the body the more oxygen the athlete receives when exercising.
Resting heart rate is the amount of beats in a minute when you are at rest. After training your heart rate will start to drop down to your normal resting heart rate which reduces the workload on your heart. Your heart rate will return down to normal when you are fitter. When you exercise over a long period of time your resting heart rate starts to decrease. This means that when you are at rest an individual won’t need to use as much oxygen. This means the individual becomes more efficient at using oxygen which means not as much wastage. The reason the body adapts is because if you exercise regularly your body is getting used to exercising on a regular basis and will start to use oxygen less. Your heart rate is able to decrease because when you stop exercise your heart will start to recover which leads to a decrease in heart rate. This can be linked to cardiac hypertrophy because the walls of the heart will increase which means more blood can be pumped through the body. This means the number of beats in a minute is reduced because more blood is being pumped per beat/contraction. This means the heart rate will decrease. This benefits the athlete because a quicker decrease in resting heart rate is an indicator that your heart is efficient at transporting oxygenated blood throughout your body with each pump.
Decreased recovery time
Heart rate recovery time is a measure of how long it takes for your heart rate to return a state of rest (resting heart rate). As you start to exercise regular basis you will notice that you will need less time to recover once you have stopped exercising because your heart muscles will become stronger with increased exercise. For example if you run for 5 minutes, rest and then carry on for another 5 minutes every week for 2 months then each time you rest you should need less time to recover because your body will be used to doing this and will use oxygen more efficiently. This is beneficial for athletes because their cardiovascular system can adapt more quickly to the demands of exercise. This means that the athlete can recover quickly and continue with the activity. For example an athlete might run 1.5 miles and need 10 minutes to recover. If the athlete ran this distance twice a week for 3 months he may only need 5 minutes to recover and this would be down to the strengthening of the cardiovascular system.
Increased aerobic fitness
Aerobic exercise are activities that require an individual to use oxygen as an energy source. Aerobic fitness will increase if an athlete undertakes resistance training, it does not necessarily have to be aerobic training. For example if you do interval training with weights (resistance training/anaerobic exercise) and you increase the duration and the number of repetitions you will start to see an increase in aerobic fitness. You will have an increased aerobic fitness if you exercise regularly, this is because your body will use oxygen more efficiently e.g. you won’t need as much recovery time when exercising aerobically. Over time you will be able to do an exercise for longer (your heart and lungs become more efficient when doing exercises such as running/cycling – you will need less oxygen and the activity should become easier to complete).
Cardiac output is the amount of blood pumped out of the ventricles in a given period of time. Cardiac output increases as a result of an increase in stroke volume or heart rate, it also increases due to regular exercise. This is because when your heart rate increases your heart is beating faster than usual so you are going to have more heart beats in a minute. Stroke volume will also increase an individuals cardiac output because more blood is being pumped per heart beat as we exercise. As we get older the maximum attainable heart rate decreases. Stroke volume only increases a small amount so heart rate changes will increase cardiac output. This happens because when you exercise at medium/high intensity your heart rate increases. This increases cardiac output because stroke volume X heart rate is the cardiac output. If heart rate increases then the overall cardiac output will increase. This links to blood, oxygen and muscles because when stroke volume increases the volume of blood increases (when stroke volume increases cardiac output increases), this means that more oxygen can then be delivered to the working muscles so this is how blood, oxygen and muscles link to cardiac output. An increase in cardiac output will benefit the athlete because the increase in cardiac output means an increase in stroke volume and heart rate, this means that more blood and oxygen is being pumped to the muscles which benefits the athlete as he/she will receive more energy to cope with the demands of the exercise.
Increase in blood volume
Reduction in resting blood pressure
Blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the cardiovascular system. When you first start exercising your blood pressure should increase and then once you have stopped your blood pressure should return to normal after 1 minute. High blood pressure is where your arteries constrict and it is harder to pump blood around the body. This makes individuals more prone to stroke or heart attacks (this is usually a result of an unhealthy lifestyle e.g. not exercising and eating unhealthy foods etc) When you stop exercising your blood pressure lowers; if you are fitter then your blood pressure will lower quicker. The reason for this is because the individual will get used to exercising on a regular basis and will be able to recover quicker once he/she has stopped exercising. If you exercise on a regular basis your blood pressure should resting blood pressure should decrease quicker. This will benefit the athlete because the quicker your blood pressure decreases the fitter you are, it also reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. The reason your blood pressure decreases is because your blood vessels start to dilate after exercise, this relaxation of the vessels produces wider openings for the blood to flow through which decreases the pressure of the blood on the walls.
Blood volume is the volume of blood that is present in an individuals cardiovascular system. Your blood volume increases however it varies from person to person, for example males usually need more blood volume than females because men are predominantly bigger than women, basically your blood volume will increase depending on the size of the individual. Blood volume also increases as a result of capillarisation. This is because if there are more capillary networks transporting blood to the working muscles this means there will be more available. Blood volume can also be linked to cardiac hypertrophy because the walls of the heart thicken which means blood volume increases. The reason your blood volume increases is to be able to supply the working muscles with enough oxygen to cope during heavy exercise. An increase in blood volume benefits an athlete because more oxygen can be pumped around the body for use (this fuels the athlete and enables him/her to exercise for longer or at a higher intensity). It is also beneficial because more lactic acid and carbon dioxide can be flushed from the body because more blood can be pumped around the body for diffusion.
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